Food equipment distributor granted £500,000 unsecured loan

Food & Drink | Funding | Growth | International | Scotland | South East

chocolate fountain

Wholesale food equipment distributor, Sephra, has been granted a £500,000 unsecured loan.

The loan, which has a term of five years, was accessed through the alternative SME credit specialist Caple. Caple has now completed ten deals with UK SMEs worth more than £20m.

Sephra has used the loan to purchase the intellectual property of its branded products, previously held by a US company, and expand into new markets. As a result, Sephra expects to hire a further 10 people and more than double its turnover to £10m over the next three-to-four years.

David Archer, managing director of Sephra, said: “We wanted to move quickly, secure the IP rights to our products and to press ahead with our growth plans. The Caple team understood our business and responded by completing the deal in record time.

“We are now able to drive innovation and expand into 20 to 30 new markets across Asia, Australasia, Central and South America, providing huge growth potential. By removing the need to pay royalties, we’re already seeing a positive impact on the bottom line.”

Based in Kirkcaldy, on the east coast of Scotland, Sephra sells to restaurants, cafes and hotels groups as well as local catering distributors. It exports to 67 countries globally.

Sephra began with chocolate fountain machines and now distributes waffle, pancake, doughnut and popcorn makers. The business also sells Sephra ingredients including chocolate, add water only waffle mix and crepe mix. Last year, the business sold over 300 tonnes of chocolate.

Sephra has used the loan to purchase the IP of its branded products, giving the company full control of these items. By removing the need to pay royalties, Sephra now also retains all profits from each sale.

The loans Caple facilitates are part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform, which enables SMEs to access funding from institutional investors. BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to provide €1bn per year in funding to SMEs across Europe and €400m in the UK.

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